Working, working, working, and computer died but came back to life sorta

So I am working like crazy ... I had those 28 roman shade orders hit at once,  I am delivering some more of those today. The ones I am delivering today all had valances. Sometimes you just get a job that what can go wrong will go wrong... this was one of those... I am soooooooo glad these are done! If I never work with this fabric I just finished with again it will be to soon :O) ...  You know the saying about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear... well I feel like I managed to do just that... arghhhh   It was more than just a fabric issue but they are done now so will just leave it at that. :O) .

Where I am at now....14 of the 28 to go. :O)...

My computer crashed, died, what ever you want to call it...

It said to me on the screen
"Jim" "He's dead"

LOL apparently google has a sense of humor... anyway so it died... I had to copy every last thing I could off my hard drive and put it on USB sticks.... then delete all that off my computer... I had used all the memory up so it was telling me... So I did all that and then I had to do a few other things.... It did come back to life but its on its last leg... I am trying to make it till end of year as I understand Windows 10 will be out by then. If  it doesn't make it, then yep I will just have to get one sooner. I don't know if its going to make it... its a day by day thing.

Honeyman has been helping me to water in the evenings and on weekends. We are trying to keep this place from completely going under, with both of us working so much its a bit stressful and hard to keep up with... Its really dry now. We are our usual 100 degrees plus, normal for this time of year....Day before yesterday it was 104 then we got that weak cold front which is almost comical they actually called it that on the weather, it dropped us just below 100... LOL..


More roman shades done and a lot more on order.

Just finished these roman shades... There were two of these.  This fabric made some pretty shades but was a little bit difficult on the pattern. It has two definite rows of design that made up the pattern that ran up the fabric. In the center the pattern was not as heavy. Due to the size of the shades I kept having what visually looked like lop sided shades LOL... But I was able to get it all worked out to where the pattern looked balanced on the shades and they matched.


                                           Hand sewn side hems
Ladder tape enclosing the cord, this is per ANSI safety regulations for roman shades. This prevents a choking hazard to children. Rings are place every 8" which is also a regulation.
Warning labels go on every shade that leaves my work room, in English and Spanish per ANSI safety regulations. 

Lots of safety regulations to follow these days.

I think you will agree the pattern looks balanced and not heavy to one side. I am almost embarrassed to admit how long it took me to figure the placement. It looks simple in the photo but as I said there was space in the center that was created by two rows of pattern running up the fabric, its sort of hard to explain. 
I think they turned out really nice. 



I am very busy right now. I have orders for more flat roman shades with valances some without valances, some relaxed roman shades, some soft fold roman shades. To be exact I am 28 orders in the hole right now. But that's a good thing, though its a tiny bit stressful I will say.


Why pushing and working so hard right now....

Why I have become such a work-a-holic lately. Well ok a work-a-holic for actual pay  :O).... I was a work-a-holic anyway lol.

I have made it no secret that the plan is for us to retire in AR in the Ozark mountains where I am originally from. We are going a bit west of where I grew up.

We are really stepping up the search now for property and actually putting a time frame to all this! I cannot tell you how very excited that I am.

Soooooo a couple years ago when the opportunity came to go back into Interior Design working at the design studio, I took the job as you guys know. Which then led to me opening my own drapery work room so I could work from our property and try to manage the farm, the gardens, canning, etc. and keep working. So far its working out very well!

Me working is helping a bit to get us there quicker. Its just added a bit of punch to our time table :O).

We we will be scaling back home size wise... a small one bedroom cabin is the plan for there :O)... I am very much looking forward to that. At this point in my life I have so much I would rather do with my time beside clean and keep up a big house! Its just honeyman and I, we never had children so we don't need a big house with lots of room for big family gatherings or guest rooms for kids and grand kids etc... A one bedroom cabin will be perfect for us! We have sort of been all over the place on property. We go from thinking what we have now 27 acres... then we think well should we get more? ...then we think being on the water to not being on water...ROFL yes its a bit hard to figure out but I know we will know the right property when we see it. We have found a great realtor who has been very understanding on how all over the place we are. She says when her and her husband moved there they were the same way and she understands, she must as she has been very good to work with. Our first realtor didn't understand and seemed to expect us to buy a place after one trip to look.  I knew we had to find a different realtor after that trip LOL.

We want to have enough acres to have elbow room and privacy but not enough to work us to death. I will of course need room to garden and grow herbs and and and and because you guys know I have to grow stuff and a lot of  it.. its what I do.. :O) and ultimately its my favorite thing to do!

Besides growing stuff there will be many things to do there. Wonderful outdoor things to do, running is going to be great there! Lots of places for trail running! Cycling as well, so many great cycle trails. We plan to take up kayaking as we feel we will both really enjoy that. Hiking as well lots of places for that. If you love outdoor stuff AR is a great place for that! Holistic healing and organic gardening have a good foot hold in this area of AR. But on the same hand there is a highly rated hospital in the larger town that would be within driving distance should one need it for something major. We will be living rural. That is what we want.

So that is what kinda fueled my taking up the offer of the job at the design studio which then led to me opening my drapery work room here which has led to me working A LOT :O).  Its been a bumpy ride as you guys know that have read my blog a while know. I struggled hard to keep up and adjust to the demands in the beginning. I have cut back some on what I do outside here and that has been a bit hard for me. But its short term and I know that.  My gardens are not as well kept, I don't get to do as much growing in some ways but I am still doing a lot! The new garden plot wound up proving to be a bad decision so we let that go back to grass.  I have two good sized gardens now and that seems to be all I can keep up with for now.

There are things I still plan to do while here but I can take with me, Bees are one of those things! I will of course be rooting off a lot of plants to move and even digging some things up, some of my bulbs etc. Splitting Iris and such. Splitting and potting some of all my medicinal herbs. Whoever buys this place will surely be getting a wonderful set up and be so far ahead of the game with all that we have done here and put in plant wise and such. The hoop houses and raised bed gardens. The fruit orchard etc.

As soon as we can find the property we plan to put a Barney rubble (travel trailer) on it and leave it there. Then we will be able to go there and stay over the next 4-5 yrs. Get our barn built etc.... Then we will retire and move there full time! So I will have time to move lots of plants! We then can live in the travel trailer while our cabin home is built. I know what they say, the best laid plans..... but with luck this will all work out as we would like it to. I am a planner by nature. Its how I do things. I make plans, they can change as they need to... they are not written in concrete, but my nature is to plan everything so this is the plan :o)....

It feels so good to finally be putting a time table on all this! :O)

  ... that is why I am working so hard right now and pushing myself as hard as I am.

Looking back, goaty pics & even a tractor pic :O)

I feel change in the air, do you ever get feelings and you know they are to happen, I do and always have my whole life.... I don't mean I am psychic, though I will tell you I think everyone is to some degree, if that is the word you want to use. We all get feelings, thoughts, etc. that later prove to be accurate, right... you know those feelings you get that are so strong you can't ignore them,  that resurface multiple times... A couple weeks back I got a very strong feeling of change...its the best I could make of the feeling... and I have had it to a lesser degree a few times since. Today I feel unsettled... I found myself looking at pictures from here on the farm, which lead to this post....

I miss the goats. Ya they were a lot of work but they were a lot of fun too. Lots of love and lots of cuddles.

I would sit for hours in the goat barn and love on the kids. I really miss the kids. This was Sterling, the second smallest kid born here. This little fella and I spent lots of time together. He was sooooooooo sweet and such a cuddle bug. I would get up every morning, throw on some clothes, grab my coffee and camera and head to the barn to sit and hold this little fella! He loved it.






 Littlest kid we had born here, This is Skittles who we still have. He  keeps Cubey company.  He was squished flat between his 2 siblings.  Truly he was flat. I had to help his nanny deliver him and his siblings, it was a rough delivery. At first I just knew he was dead. But I jiggled him and blew air into him and prayed. It worked. He had a rough start but he made it with some extra TLC. He would fit in my hand! He was just amazingly small! He didn't look real, he looked like a toy. Skittles is truly like a dog. He likes to be petted, he loves to play head butt game. He butts his head into your palm when you hold it out to him. Honeyman taught him that LOL. I can't play the game to much with him as he gets to butting to hard LOL. Honeyman plays it with him. He is about the size of Cubey now. Tiny bit taller. He is a whether.

 Skittles with his siblings,Nanny, he was bow legged as could be for quite a while. But his legs are fine now.

 Harrison our buck. He was wild but he was pretty! It took me a lot of hours of sitting in the pasture with a feed bucket softly talking to him, or just being quiet...to get him to come to me amd take food out of my hand. Harrison was a one buck to the farm kind of buck. He would try to kill any other bucks we had. He simply would not allow another buck to live on this place.  Even whethers he was not very nice to! Not that we ever needed another buck. He totally handled the job all by himself very well.

Beautiful he was

This was later when he decided I was okay... he would come close to me and let me take his picture and take a treat.


                                                           Cubey with some of her kids
Sugarcube aka Cubey they don't come any better than her, in any meaning. Everyone would have 100 goats if they were all like her! 

Honeyman holding Dolly who was rejected by her Nanny, my best bud has Dolly. She took her and bottle fed her and still has her. She  turned out to be a good milk goat. I could never figure out for sure why her Nanny rejected her, my only guess was her Nanny had given birth numerous times, always single kids and always bucks. When Dolly was born her nanny had two kids. Its the only time she ever had two. She left Dolly laying outside the barn and was with her other kid a buck inside the barn. When I tried to get her to accept Dolly she acted like I was trying to give her some other goats kid. She actually tossed dolly several feet when I put Dolly up close to her to try to get her to let her eat. Both the kids were nice sized kids and healthy.
I wasn't with her when she kidded, she surprise delivered on me. Maybe had I been there, will never know. Bossy was always a strong kidder and super good Mom.



One of the dumber things I did ....I had put a mineral bucket out. Never thinking about the handle on the bucket and  using this style clip.   I found Bossy standing with her head stuck in the bucket because her horn had got hung/stuck in the clip I had hung the bucket by. Thus trapping the bucket between her horns. 
... DUH ... needless to say I didn't hang buckets that way again! She was fine but very happy to get her head out of that bucket. She had had her fill of minerals to say the least LOL

                                         ..  it will have to do Mr Preppy... :O)
                                            from a couple years back.


Working but still here

I just fnished these roman shades with attached valances. I tell you the photos don't do them justice. They really turned out lovely.


The client wanted valances, so drew up several on paper till I had the right shape and that was a go. I used a roll of Christmas paper I picked up on after Christmas clearance to draw the valance pattern on and then cut it out. This paper had a 1" grid printed on the back of the paper. I have used these rolls of paper for all sorts of things none of which has been to wrap a present.

This fabric had a dot/check and a stripe pattern to it. I was very careful to make sure this all lined up from valance to shade. The tassel bead trim really set these off. This was a upholstery weight fabric. Though not super heavy and it did not have a  backing on it like some upholstery fabrics. Those would not work well in roman shades.





I am rarely ever on the installs....so my photos are always of the shades hanging in my workroom on my shade holder. The client did send via the phone photos of them installed. They looked pretty and they were so happy with them. It made me feel really good.

On the garden end of things:
I have started pulling up plants in my garden. This is the earliest I have ever done this. I worked over the holiday day weekend doing this.  I have to say, the two big makers this year so far have both been hybrid seeds. My jalapenos are making better than any other pepper. those are Burpee gigante hybrid. Then my Lemon Boy tomatoes a hybrid are making more tomatoes than any other tomato. Full size tomato not cherries.

Back to work!

Todays canning, I am beat....

7 quarts of blackberry juice
18 jars of rotel
1 - 1/2 gallon of dill pickles
11 pints of pickled cherry tomatoes

What a day! But lots of yummies!  Not the best pictures, still can't get my other camera to flash and this one I am not used to using. So not the best pics. Everything looks anemic in these photos LOL



Canning and a camera question?

In between making roman shades I have been canning.
Some of what I have canned...

4 half gallon jars of pickles. I canned these in half gallons because the cucumbers were bigger and I like them whole (though I did have to cut some in spears and half lengthwise to pack the jars tight) we love dill pickles so having them in half gallon jars works for us. We can eat a quart of pickles in a week around here so no worries they will go bad sitting in the fridge once opened. I eat dill pickles for snacks a lot. I have always loved them.
 Pickled Juliet (cherry) tomatoes.  In the jar, grape leave, onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper. I put the recipe up oh my blog last year for these. :O).  I have also canned a gazillion quarts of blackberry juice. I have also done 15 jars of "rotel".


The garden has not made this year like it did last year, good thing I stayed with it last year and canned the 400 jars LOL. Because that is what will carry us on some items till next years garden! We have been enjoying fresh eating though and that has been nice. Just not enough extra of a lot of stuff to put up anything. 

Now for the camera question, my camera the flash will not go off on it. No matter what I do. I can hear it or I think I can going off. So this is my question. I am wondering if the light bulb burned out? Do these cameras do that? Its such a teeny tiny little spot where the flash is on this camera. Anyone just wondering if anyone else has ever had the flash burn out on these cameras that take the memory cards? I have a Kodak C180 camera. I have not had time to even google or research anything on this. I really hope it can be fixed easily and cheaply. I was not really looking to buy a new camera right now sighhhh.

The right tool for the job and more finished roman shades.

I was nervous, this was expensive fabric. Its always a bit nerve racking to cut into really expensive fabric.  I don't care how long you have done something or how well you know how to do something. We are human and mistakes can happen.  You always hope if you do make a mistake and wound up having to replace a customers fabric due to your error its not on over 100.00 yard fabric. LOL   So ya one gets nervous, but usually it all turns out fine. Luckily the mistakes are far and few between, but you never want to get cocky LOL or else it will bite you in the hiney.

Customer ordered two roman shades. First photos... cut out.

 Close up of fabric. It was a bit tricky cutting them out, had to figure out the best placement of the design on the size of shades... Where to start the pattern and end it etc. I think the choices were good.

                                                             Let all the way down

Party way up

Pulled all the way up 




My drapery work table is 60" wide by 144 inches long, fairly standard size. However I have been getting orders for roman shades wider than 60".  I can tell you making a roman shade with part of it hanging off the table and then having to move that roman shade several times more than you would have had it all fit on top of your table is a toot! It adds a lot of time to the process and it also leaves you open for issues.

The right tool for the job
Honeyman to the rescue, he built me a extension for my table. I have it all covered in batting and the canvas my table is covered in.  We are just waiting on the extension brackets we ordered that will work like a drop leaf table. I can pop it up and it will lock into place when I need the extra width. They have releases that will easily release and let it down when I don't need it.  I have a yellow ruler and metal ruler track ordered for it as well  like the yellow one you see to in the photo below, those are on both sides of my existing table, the extension obviously will only have it on the outside edge. I also ordered a 96" metal drapery ruler since my longest one now is 72".  The metal drapery rulers will last a lifetime nearly. I have had the one I have now for over 20 years.
This is going to make my job so much easier on those big roman shades!

Business is good

Still here just working A LOT.  But that's a good thing right! :O)

I will be back with a decent post soon.

Stinker pattern match, but I got it

This is the fabric I am making roman shades from now. Its linen, it stretches and its got a million points to be pattern matched. One of the roman shades made from this will be a bay window roman in three sections. So one wide section that has two seams / patterned match to make it the width it needs to be and then two small sections that will be the angle side pieces.

I pinned it in this first photo to get my pattern match. I then ironed a crease in it and then I hand basted in the ditch on that crease with 1/2 " long stitches to hold it perfect while I was sewing it. After sewing you take out the long basted stitches.
                                                                          Pinned
Below photo: I have sewn it and taken out the basting stitches and you can't even see the seam :O) That is the goal!
                              Below photo:  A close up of the seam sewn in :O) I had two of these seams, both seams turned out great!
Thats it for today, gotta scoot as I took another order from a client that I will be picking up material for this week. So I need to get these done this week, so I can start those! :O)


Gladiolus in the garden on a pretty morning

Someone woke me up way to early snoring this morning  :O(.  But someone worked so hard outside all day yesterday I didn't have the heart to poke that someone as I wanted him to get his sleep in. I just got up instead at the crack of dawn, ummm not my normal time I can assure you. In the end it was kind of nice because it was cool outside and a bit foggy. Sun was coming up, Very pretty.
 Goaties weren't even ready to get up yet.
 This year when I ran onto gladiolus bulbs and Stargazer Lily bulbs on megga clearance I got several bags.  I planted them in with my vegetables. I put them in the center of the rows and some on the ends of rows etc. my thinking was the tomato cages and tomato plants will hold them up. I also cage my peppers. I thought they would be pretty sticking up all in the garden with the veggies  :O) and hopefully draw more bees to the garden as well. The gladiolus are starting to bloom. We don't have to dig up bulbs here to overwinter them inside. We can even grow Amaryllis outside and leave them, now they do need to be the outside variety not the inside ones that won't take a freeze. I thought of this idea a bit late to do all my rows but I have more gladiolus in the refrigerator that I am going to plant when my veggies are done, I have found gladiolus bulbs will stay good months and months in the crisper drawer of the fridge. When honeyman saw my crisper drawer full of bulbs he just smiled and shook his head. I assured him I was not taking over the whole refrigerator with gardening stuff just the one crisper drawer :O).

I did cage some early on before I thought DUH the veggies and their cages will hold them up LOL


 I filled under this trellis I am using for cucumbers as well. Not sure exactly how this will work out as the cucumbers usually totally cover a trellis but I thought maybe the flower heads being so big would peek out. I figure with a bit of help I can move the cuc vines to let the glad flowers come out. Since my cucumbers are so small on this trellis yet, doesn't look like I will have to worry about seeing the blooms.